KOLKATA: Political parties today traded charges on alleged "faulty plan" of the under-construction flyover that collapsed here with ruling TMC accusing erstwhile Left Front regime for it and the opposition questioning what stopped the TMC from changing the design and the contractor.
Accusing the erstwhile Left Front regime of making a "faulty plan" for building the flyover, that collapsed yesterday, TMC MP Sudip Bandopadhyay today said there were complaints among the locals too about its planning.
"The plan and design of the flyover were made during the Left regime. There were faults in the planning and design of the flyover. The locals had complained about the planning of the flyover but at that time 60 per cent work was done. There were also discussions whether the design could be changed," Bandopadhyay, TMC MP from Kolkata North under which the accident site falls, told reporters.
Asked if there was a hurry to complete the work before the assembly poll at the behest of the state government, Bandopadhyay retorted "Why will the state government rush to complete the work? The government can't inaugurate the bridge as the model code of conduct is in effect. The work was going on in its own pace."
Asked why the contractor of the flyover project was not changed if the designs made by it was faulty, state PWD minister Firhad Hakim said "This is not time to do politics.
But once a tender has been given to someone, it is really tough to take it back. Had we taken back the tender from the contractor then questions would have been raised."
Opposition Congress, CPI(M) and BJP accused the TMC government of indulging in rampant corruption in the building of the flyover.
"My question is what stopped the TMC regime from changing the plan. So what, even if 60 per cent of the work is finished? The cost of innocent lives is much more than constructing a bridge," WBPCC president Adhir Chowdhury said.
"If the plans and designs were faulty then why didn't they (TMC government) change it ? What stopped them from doing that?" CPI(M) Politburo member Mohammed Salim said.
Union Minister Muktar Abbas Naqvi said the flyover collapse was the result of corruption pursued by TMC.
"The chief minister and Trinamool Congress are indulging in petty politics of accusing the previous Left Front government. This is not the time to accuse the previous government.
"If the Left Front government had indulged in corruption, then why didn't the TMC government stop it after coming to power? It seems a competition on corruption was on between the two. The flyover collapse is a result of it," Naqvi told reporters here.
Meanwhile, the death toll in the flyover collapse rose to 24 with three more bodies were recovered from underneath the debris.
About 60-metre-long portion of the under-construction Vivekananda flyover had collapsed yesterday.